Discover the Fun of Gardening
December 13, 2018   
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Garden Tip  |   Featured Plants

A gardener is always ready to do battle with a variety of foes.

Whatever germs have been circulating everywhere finally got to me and last weekend, I came down with the flu. For about a day and a half, I barely got out of bed. It's been at least ten years since I've been sick enough that a little cold medicine couldn't cover it up and allow me to tough it out. This time, I felt so bad that I didn't even go outside to check on my garden for about two days. And it came out of nowhere. I had a cough and then all of the sudden a fever over 102. I hate being confined to bed, but since I couldn't stand up straight, that's where I was stuck. Usually I'd pass the time reading the stack of books at my bedside, but with a fever that high, my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was tuck into the pillows. So instead I watched movies. I started with The Lord of the Rings trilogy figuring it was nice and long and would pass the time. And as I made my way through The Two Towers, restlessly dozing and watching, this short scene caught my attention, even in the fog of a fever. You've got to get to 0:42 to catch the line. Faramir asks who Frodo and Sam are, and Frodo finally replies 'We are hobbits of the Shire. I am Frodo Baggins, and this is Samwise Gamgee' to which Faramir replies 'Your bodyguard?' and Sam looking indignant and tough replies 'His Gardener'.

For some reason, that line has never caught my attention before, but something about it this time around made me chuckle. I don't know about you, but if I'm tasked with taking some all-powerful ring across a wilderness filled with evil, I might not take a gardener with me. But then again, we gardeners (just like Sam) are a tough bunch. We battle weeds, insects, vermin and disease day in and day out to keep our flowers blooming and gardens harvesting. We may not be great with a sword, and I'm not sure how we'd be facing down orcs, but put a shovel, clippers or a hoe in our hand, and we'll show you how gardening gets done.

And even if you aren't a gardener, you probably know one that has swooped in and rescued you from some botanical catastrophe. If they are on your Christmas List, then swing by Kerby's this Christmas season. You'll find lots of great gift ideas that will make any gardener smile.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Be prepared for frost or freeze.

Garden Tip
Protecting Plants from Frost and Freeze
Who knows what winter will bring this year. We've already had plenty of rain, and a few early cold snaps. The best thing you can do is to be prepared. Make sure you are stocked up on all of the essentials for protecting your plants, like frost blankets and anchor pins. Follow these easy tips to make sure your garden comes into spring looking even better than before.

Protection - When frost or freeze approaches, the best thing you can do is be prepared to cover your plants. Make sure that you have frost blankets and anchoring pins on hand so that you don't have to make a last minute trip to Kerby's for supplies and have a plan for covering up your most sensitive plants. Make sure that you cover plants all the way to the ground, resting the blanket lightly on the plant and then anchoring the blanket to the ground with the anchor pins. Not attaching the blanket allows cold winds to creep under easily and either blow the blanket off, or push out the warm trapped air that is protecting the plant.

Water Well - The day before cold comes in, make sure you give your plants a good soaking. A lack of water when cold, dry winds are blowing can cause double the damage to your plants. Water plants at the roots only. Water on the leaves doesn't help and can cause more damage for landscape plants.

Stop Fertilizing - By now, you should have done your fall fertilization on all of your plants. At this point, you want to hold off on any general feeding until springtime. Too much fertilizer right now may encourage growth spurts during warmer days, and this new growth is extremely sensitive to cold, no matter how hardy the plant.

Avoid Some Pruning - On sensitive shrubs, you'll want to avoid pruning unless absolutely necessary. Pruning stimulates growth which can lead to weaker plants. A plant that is a little taller or wider than you want can be a good thing, as it will provide a little extra insulation. The winter is a great time to prune roses, crape myrtles, evergreens, and any deciduous trees.

Double Protection - If you're a fruit nut and have exotic tropical fruit trees, consider doubling the protection by using multiple layers of frost blankets. For covering trees, have a few stakes on hand to prop the blankets up so they aren't pulling the leaves and branches down.

These are a few tips you can use to protect your garden this winter. The best protection is being prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way.

Gorgeous Plants
Blood Orange Nemesia

Gorgeous cool-season color
6" Pot - $7.99
Matrix Morpheus Pansy

Amazing Winter Color
6" Pot - $5.99
Gift Cards Available

Perfect for your
Favorite Gardener

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday,  9am - 5pm
Sunday,  11am - 4pm
Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve, Monday, 12/24 - 9am - 12pm
Christmas Day, Tuesday, 12/25 - Closed
Wednesday, 12/26 - Closed
New Year's Eve, Monday, 12/31 - 9am - 12pm
New Year's Day, Tuesday, 1/1 - Closed